Branch Raises KES 350 Million To Expand its Turf in Kenya


BranchBranch, the popular loan app that was launched in the Kenyan market back in 2015 has announced plans to expand its trade in the country.

This development is motivated by a KES 350 million capital investment deal based on a commercial paper issuance that was arranged by Barium Capital, a capital-raising advisory firm owned by Centum.

The investment is second of its kind after the fintech company scraped together KES 200 million in late 2017, which saw it launch its services in other markets such as India and Mexico.

The lender, which is headquartered in San Francisco, USA, has since disbursed loans to more than 1 million Kenyans. The volume of funds loaned to this demographic has surpassed the KES 1 billion mark, as well as distributing 6 million loans. Furthermore, Branch says it issues tens of thousands of loans on a daily basis.

Branch hopes to disburse KES 2.5 billion across its markets by the end of the year.

“The rapid growth of smartphone adoption, paired with the affinity for mobile money has put Kenya at the forefront of the financial technology explosion,” said Branch Head of Global Operations Daniel Szlapak. “We’re proud that our services have seen such high adoption here and are excited to continue to build best-in-class products for Kenyan customers.”

“Branch has built an absolutely first-rate operation. We have been impressed by what they’ve been able to achieve so far, and we are very happy to have secured a seat on the Branch express train for our investors,” noted Teresia Muthoni, CEO of Barium Capital.

Smartphone adoption

The penetration of internet services has accelerated the adoption of smart devices. Together with mobile money services that were originally pioneered by Safaricom’s M-PESA, Branch has managed to take advantage of the two fronts garner more users. For instance, GMSA Intelligence predicts that there will be more than 400 million new smartphone connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020.

Kenya is one of the primary markets that tops the highlighted shift. It has been reported 6 out of 10 Kenyans have a mobile banking account, and the same statistical sample receives 90 percent of remittances through a smart handheld.

The firm has also noted that 70 percent of its loans are used for small business activities.